Since its inception in 2012, BLOCS has existed for one purpose – to build a better life for the youth in our community. And while much of that time was spent putting infrastructure in place and building a solid foundation, BLOCS has also enjoyed a number of important accomplishments:

56% of youth high quality programs met projected growth in Math: In high quality programs,18% of youth are more likely to reach MAP Reading growth projection than those in low quality programs

51% of youth high quality programs met projected growth in Math

57% youth in programs in the High Quality cluster improved their SRYB ratings from Time 1 to Time 2, compared to 41% youth in Low Quality cluster programs

Lower suspension rates in high quality programs (JCPS avg 3x higher, avg, one fewer suspension/year); In high quality programs, youth are suspended 1 fewer day than those in low quality programs

Higher avg. attendance compared to JCPS avg. (97% vs. 93%…2 fewer absences/year): In high quality programs, youth attend 2 more school days than those in low quality programs

These are just a few of the numerous accomplishments BLOCS has spearheaded to help improve outcomes for young people. And we’re just getting started!



2018 Data Report Summary

This report outlines quality improvement data and youth outcomes data from 2014-2018 for all program sites in the BLOCS network. Information includes OST participation levels in Louisville’s Zones of Hope, program quality assessment data, social-emotional learning (SEL) results, and recommendations.

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Social-Emotional Development

BLOCS is modeled on the premise that frequent, regular attendance at high-quality OST programs positively impacts the acquisition of social-emotional skills, and is linked to higher school engagement and academic performance. In fact, BLOCS data indicates a statistically significant link between participation in high quality OST programs and fewer school suspensions. Social-emotional learning (SEL) is reported at the program level, as measured by tools such as the Staff Rating of Youth Behavior (SRYB).


The SRYB is completed twice a year by youth workers. The tool collects data based on their experiences with and observations of the youth in their OST programs. This research-based tool gives youth workers a systematic way of tracking the SEL progress of youth over the course of a year, and from year to year.

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OST is a Violence Prevention Strategy!

OST can have a strong, positive impact on violence prevention. Adolescent mental and emotional well-being is associated with teens’ environments. Links have been found consistently between teens’ well-being and environments that are emotionally positive and warm and that provide support for developing adolescent autonomy. When youth don’t feel emotionally safe and supported, it can lead to risky behaviors.


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OST is a Workforce Development Strategy!

Workforce development is another critical area in the community where OST can have a strong, positive impact. In addition to improving basic reading, writing, and math skills, workers also need to develop skills in communication, resource allocation, decision making, problem-solving, and using data. OST provides youth with opportunities to develop these kinds of abilities and skills that the GED doesn’t test for and that academic classes don’t fully prepare them for—things like higher-ordered thinking, organization and communication skills. Youth need these life capacities as adults, in order to meet demands, confront challenges and lean into opportunities.